WATCH: Wheels give poorly German Shepherd chance to walk again
A Kirk Hallam man whose beloved German Shepherd has lost the use of her back legs has had a special harness with two wheels made to keep her walking.
Eleven year-old Amber developed canine degenerative myelopathy - which caused hind leg weakness until the point where she could no longer walk.
Owner Barrie Parkin, 79, said that he and wife, Carole, 62, also had to use a special harness to lift Amber so she could use the toilet but the dog was worth it.
He said: “We have a bit to contend with but she is a special dog and German Shepherds are a favourite of mine.
“She is such a friendly dog - not quite so much with other dogs - but great with people and especially children.”
Barrie said Amber’s decline was quite gradual until the point where she lost all mobility so he and Carole ordered the harness which was specially made to fit Amber’s measurements.
The harness contains two prods, on top of its wheels which the much-loved pet’s feet are then dropped into, allowing her to move freely around.
“She reacted to it extremely well,” said Barrie. “When we first put her into it she walked backwards and fell over.
“But over a period of time she has learned how to fit the wheels through narrow gaps and is very happy in them.
“She gets a bit frustrated in the evenings when she cannot move around but when we take her out she can pull the wheels up hills because she is still very powerful at the front.”
Grandfather-of-ten Barrie, who used to work as a printer, said he was not sure how long it would be before the condition advanced to Amber’s front legs and if it did, he and Carole may have to have her put down.
But he added: “At the moment she is happy so we will keep her as long as that is the case.”